This is my favorite t-shirt ever, a gift from my sister several years ago. It’s really big and comfortable and funny and…true.
I’m always watching, even when people think I’m not. I’m always listening, even when my attention is pulled elsewhere. Without even intending to, I absorb gestures and expressions and accents, conversations and facial tics and neuroses, and I add them to the constantly-boiling soup pot of fodder, which runneth over.
My gentle friends show up in my fiction–with names and circumstances and allegiances changed, of course–because it’s fun to honor their presence in my life with a presence in a book. But woe to the few with whom I’ve lost love: a blank page is good therapy, and my pen is far mightier than my sword.
However, honor and revenge are low priorities. Mostly, I go blithely about my life, subconsciously mining my environment of the riches it offers: interesting people with fascinating quirks, traits, histories, visages, emotions. While all of my characters are fictional, they are composites of the details I’ve captured along the way of forty-two years of life. Some people think they see me in my characters, and perhaps that’s true in some cases. In terms of ending up in my novels, I suppose I’m as fair game as any of the rest of you.
Consider yourselves warned.